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Parking tickets may seem like a fact of life for many New York residents and commuters who drive in the city. However, two recent news items have brought attention to the fact that drivers may not be getting a fair shake when it comes to enforcement of parking laws.

According to the New York Post, a lawsuit was recently filed which alleges that drivers who are issued tickets for parking violations face an unfair disadvantage when it comes to fighting their tickets in court. If someone appears in court to fight another type of traffic violation, such as a speeding ticket, the officer who wrote the ticket will often also appear and testify in support of the issuance of the ticket. The defendant or their attorney can then question the officer and present a defense in hopes of having the charges dismissed.

However, when it comes to parking violations, defendants apparently do not get such an opportunity. The lawsuit alleges that requests to get law enforcement or traffic officers to testify are commonly denied. While there is a system in place for drivers to submit proof of their innocence electronically, the technology is extremely limited and makes submitting high quality photographs next to impossible.

The second piece of news involves a settlement reached between the city’s Law Department and the New York Trucking and Delivery Association. The New York Daily News reports that a class action lawsuit was brought which alleged that parking tickets were incorrectly issued to commercial truck drivers who were double parked. The law does allow for double parking in limited circumstances. However, traffic agents skirted around that law by instead issuing more expensive tickets for obstruction of a traffic lane. The Law Department settled the class action suit to the tune of $14 million. While the settlement is not an admission of any wrongdoing, some people certainly seem to think the city’s willingness to pay implies that it knew the tickets were bogus.

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